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This audio is available in streaming format
Wow, what an all-time great show. I personally find this as uplifting as any '85 show (one of the greatest years in GD history imo) including Summer or the Halloween run. Incredible energy and skillful playing thruout. Jerry's on fire. Sloppy transitions? Down year? Gay newbies? Vince? Idk what these other reviewers are talking about or how they can even bring any negativity into their reviews after listening to this spiritually uplifting stream. This is a fine example of late era Grateful Dead exploration and musical mastery during one of their many pinnacle years. Specifically, the first set is chalk full of rocking takes: jazzy Dancin opener, BEW rocks with dazzling guitar work, a solid Esau, a very nice Ramble on Rose, thumping bass, and the Tom Thumb's->Cold Rain->Music must've left the Heads gasping for air and in need of a break as much as the band. Scarlet->Eyes? Come on or rather hold on, it only heats up from there. If this isn't a 5 star show I don't know what is. Oh and the sound is fantastic. All time! Thanks Archive!!!
Subject: The best SBD source for this show
I have listened very closely to all of the available soundboard sources for this show, and my ears have determined this is the best one. The Charlie Miller source unfortunately suffers from a muffled low end (this is one of those rare occasions where his tape isn't the best). I think the advantage of the source above this on the listings page is that it might have less of a cut in The Other One. I Haven't listened that far yet, but both tapes sound practically identical, so take your pick.
As much as I hate Teabag 69's contemptible elitism in almost every comment he has posted on the IA, I must agree with him about the quality of '83-'85 shows. I just received the officially released May '77 boxed set in the mail last Friday, but, to be honest, I have been more excited by the music I have heard from the '84-'85 shows I have been listening to this week. Yes, Jerry's voice is haggard, and the boys don't always hit every transition in the smoothest way, but there is just something special about the performances from these years (just check out the Philadelphia Civic Center run from '84--sooooo good). I love the punchy sounds of Jerry's guitar tone, and Phil rips endless bombs with his new Modulus 6-string. Brilliance.
Magical Frost '85. (My favorite Frost run is '82.)
Subject: 5 stars for 85
Talk about about a perfect Grateful Dead show. This is it!The band in fine tune.One of those special nights where they were gelling perfectly.A+sound...5stars...ENJOY!
The reviewer below who said 1985 is "known as a down year" for the Dead is absolutely wrong I can;t stop laughing. 1985, and I was at 24 shows that year, went down as an excellent year for the band. I'll take any of the '85 shows I saw over any post-'86 show, in a NY minute. Garcia was on fire in '85. Forget the gay, newbie generations of fans who think they know what they are talking about. They don't.
Subject: Possibly the best show of '85!
I know the June shows and Richmond shows get all of the attention for best of '85 but this show is a serious contender for best of the year. It features some excellent song selections and truly inspired jamming throughout. Also worth noting, Jerry's voice sounds incredible throughout the entire show.
Pretty much every moment of the first set is perfect. The only exception being Bob's slide solo in Rooster but even that is passable. They open with a very focused, energized Dancin' that features some nice jamming before segueing into a solid Bertha. B.E. Woman is brief but bursting with energy. I wish the slo was longer but Jerry's voice sounds great and they are firing on all cylinders. Esau, never one of my favorites, is delivered with enthusiasm but the trifecta that closes the set is incredible. Tom Thumb>Cold Rain and Snow>Music! Phil sounds pretty good on this one and they transition into a blistering Cold Rain and Snow that again features great vocals from Jerry. The Music that closes the set is inspired and features a lengthy jam with fiery leads. A very nice ending to a great set.
The energy and great song selection continues in the second set. they start off with a very nice Scarlet that has a lengthy jam, featuring great group improv and sweet soloing. It sounds as if they will transition into Fire but at the last minute Jerry busts into Eyes and the boys follow without missing a beat. This has to be heard by anyone who is a Dead fan. Eyes is delivered perfectly with more great Jerry vocals and an excellent deliberate jazzy jam. Again, there is some great group interplay and beautiful soloing from Garcia. As it winds down Jerry starts picking the intro to GDTR. This version is rollicking and kicks things up a notch. They close out the pre drums jam with a nice jaunty Man Smart that has Bobby belting out the lyrics. Wow, what a great set so far! The Drums and Space portion of this show are as equally excellent as the rest of the show. The Space in particular features some really dark psychedelic noodling. It gets pretty intense before segueing into a pretty Wheel which in turn segues into a brief Truckin' that has an energetic outro jam. The Truckin' dissolves into a brief but very intense Other One. It sounds as if Jerry is about to rip an intense solo but Bobby cuts him off with the first verse. After it is out of the way Jerry gets his way and delivers a breath taking screaming solo. The whole bands follows suit and goes nuts. Phil bomb all over the place!!!! The tension is cut when Jerry brings things back down to earth with a soulful Black Peter. Jerry's vocals are slightly touchy in some spots but again he sounds pretty damn good here. Also, the harmonies are pretty much perfect. Bobby pucks things back up with a blistering Around and Around>Saturday Night duo to end this show on a high note.
This show is amazing! Don't sleep on this one.
This is the bee's knees. Sound is excellent. I LOVE this weird, thick energy they have going. The whole show smokes, but (as previously mentioned) the Tom Thumb > Cold Rain > Music is sublime. 'nuff said about set II. Inspired.
I had been listening to the GD for only a few months when I heard this for the first time and my exposure had been sort of limited at that (how did we cope without the archive?). I heard this tape and it bumped my passion for more of this music about a thousand percent. Never looked back. Thanks for posting.
Subject: One of my all time favorites
If you haven't heard this Scarlet-Eyes, you are MISSIN' OUT! Overall, the show is a hihg-energy, late 80's style of show. Any time they open with Dancin' - you're in for a treat. The 2nd set has some twists too.
Subject: At last!
I'm so glad I found this website because I have this show on a really old tape that has really bad wow and flutter going on from so many plays. It actually sounds pretty psychedelic but it is so nice to hear this show the way it was meant to be heard. This show just brings that unbeleivable chill down my spine of pure happiness and joy!
Is there anyway to download shows off of this website, and if so how?
Subject: thick Frosty 85 April 27
This is a GR8 board. all the inputs are pretty kind. Three gen SUPPOSEDLY. Whatever...great ride.
WORTHY x 10!
ummm 1985 is held in hi esteem...don't understand when people say that it's not. Clearly a pinnacle year for the band for that respective dynamic of the band at that time...which pretty much says it all...a band that went whole hog into the wilderness of new sound and direction consistently and was able to have a type of sound that evolves then builds to a collective peak for the style that they were evolving through (72, 73-74, 77-78, 85, 89-90 etc)...a textbook "successful" band does this once and then coasts with few exceptions...miles, paul simon, dylan in his most "contemporary" years...and not many others
Had this cassette on a decent for 85 SBD. Used to listen to the Scarlet-->Eyes..ESPECIALLY that transition which really starts when Jerry finishes his "heart of gold band" line...just perfectly synced, in-the-moment, unique, collective phrasing of a jam....this Scarlet into Eyes is a study onto iteself which is what really makes this show hold up so well over time. Bobby i think really puts it over to the next level and makes Jerry resond in kind...great stuff by the most ragged on band member but the one that showed up every night in the end years.
Love this sound...love that this board is sick and love this Scarlet/Eyes transistion...
Jerry always had the best fattest richest tones from his guitar...just an embarrassment of riches to be able to tap into that...
Love the archive.....we are lucky to have this music
Subject: One Of The Ultimate Sleepers
A technical masterpiece. Glinting, punchy, tight, hard-edged sparkling diamond of a show. I've never grown tired of this in twenty years. Garcia's sure-fingeredness and lightning 64th-notes and great arcs and glissandos are flawless. My personal copy of this show (1st generation audience on cassette) has very strong vocals well-placed in the mix.
One strange feature of this show is the absence of the dark, brooding quality so typical of the period. In fact, that majestic awe that is the foundation of the Dead musical mystique is curiously minimalized here. There's almost a clinical quality to the sound. If you took six of the top studio musicians in the world and locked them in a room and made them study the Grateful Dead 18 hours a day for 10 years, then dosed them with ultra-clean acid and put them on the stage at Frost on a gorgeous spring day in Palo Alto,
this is what you'd get ;-)
Subject: Dank Dancin but about the rest of show
Does anyone know why the streaming link only plays the first song of the set lists and no others?
This show sounds righteous right off the bat. After listening to so much '77 and '78, the mid80's sound sick. Billy and Mickey have honed their chops and Brent adds a nice touch on the keys. Jerry's licks sound tight too, but why doesn't the whole set stream? Any info greatly appreciated.
Bob Barker -
Subject: One of the Best...period
Getting this show on tape back in 1990 was one of the best scores of my Deadhead career. After nearly wearing the tape out, I put it in a box of keepsakes along with the likes of bronzed baby shoes and pictures of great grandmothers. Beyond the playing - which is nearly flawless even at the curiously fast tempo - the sound is impeccable. The jams in Dancing in the Streets, Music Never Stopped and post-Scarlet Begonias are perfect examples of how wonderfully creative and often delicate the Dead's music could be. Sweet and understated seques can be found all over this show. But I got away from the point: it's about the sound - as Deadheads can find great playing in lots of places. Download this show....you can literally hear it all!
Subject: great show
85 was known as a down year for the boys. never would know it from this gem. Solid throughout. The rare Scarlet>Eyes>GDTRFB is a nice treat.
If you're looking for something good in 85, you can't go wrong here.
revised: taking a beating, here. Just for the record I have a lot of positive reviews for 85 and i actaully enjoy a lot of 85. My "down year" reference has more to do with garcia's drug use and creaky vocals, not to mention that this is the year where they weren't as consistant on a night to night basis. Where I may be misleading is that you really don't see a true indication of this until late summer and the 'pretty sub par fall/winter tour. I should have probably been more specific. There are a lot of great 85's so people shouldn't be afraid.
and as for the 84's you guys mention, I agree 100% and have reviewed them as some of m favoites.
and anyone who has read a review of mine will know my feelings about vince.
early 80's meltdown -
Subject: Down Year Lobster12 ?
Man, when I read that stuff esp. 83,84 and 85 I don't know if I should laugh or puke. Yes the Good ole Grateful Dead 77-82 sound went away but be it Jerry's drug habbit getting worse or the band just changing as time goes on they were smoking in these years. They were fast some nights or a little slow others the jamming in the early to mid 80's and Jerry's heart felt ballads, I personally think they were on fire in every way. they were steam rollin during that transition period night after night. The Band was blowing these crowds at a ridiculous level at these shows. I can't imagine going to just about any show from 83-85 and comparing it to late 90's and up. What about Brent, with all those tripped out bells and lingering buzzers. Holy balls imagine at one those shows your starting to take off on shrooms and Brents going hard with those sounds talk about seeing color that some wicked pschedelic stuff. Jerry banging it out hard core lighting speed jams and ballads that tear your heart out like Comes a time. You are missing alot if you under estimate the early 80's. whats better not 86-88. Now 1989 is something to talk about again and spring 90. After that I can honestly say its not even a question of having preference or taste. The Dead from 83-85 bull dozed they're later stuff by a long shot. No Brent, drugs and time taking there toll and cheesy new songs and Vince for replacent it doesn't add up. I love 70's too but my heart is in the early eighties from literally 1980-85. Right when Jerry was coming into Jerry, you know gainning weight, big gray trade mark hair and all kinds of persian/coke problems looming around Gracia.Listen to fall tour 84 like Augusta or Centrum sick stuff.
I truley feel I missed by 10 years I caught a lot of fun shows from 87-88 and up but I can't imagine a Iowa 83,Hult 84 or Spectrum 85. This was some sick, sick stuff.
Ps. I was reading a review on Irvine 85 another killer, about looks like Rain which He wouldn't normally comment but He said Brent was out there so that caught my attention. He was and he's refering to what I wrote above.
Subject: 1985 a down year??
This show is a ripper!
I know one thing lobster12, in 1985, heads weren't complaining about shows like they did in the 90s. Jerry was unhealthy and not singing very well, but the Dead played a slew of unpredictable and great shows in 1985. 1986, now that was a down year.
Subject: The REAL Thing.
Holy Fuck. This really IS a great show.
If this doesn't make you smile, well, I don't know where to refer you. the morgue maybe?
Subject: 20th Anniversary
My first Frost show. Un"bleepin'"believable!! The "Tom Thumb"/"Cold Rain"/"Music" is one of the finest moments of 1985. It was a bright sun-shiny day and it was a fantastic show....."The Other One" just screams.
capn doubledose -
Subject: Great all the way through
Everything is played masterfully. A wonderful show in a wonderful year - I cannot believe this is almost 20 years ago.
Subject: Sweet, sweet music
If Scarlet > Eyes isn't one of the kindest things you hear as you explore the Grateful Dead, give it another try. The transition is flawless. And the first set has a great Bertha, Brown-Eyed, Cold Rain and Music.
As Jerry says about Phil, I'll say about this show. "We're hangin' on to him for a little while. He's ours." Thanks, GD. Archive too.
Subject: second set is amazing
This second set really surprised me and changed my opionons of the dead in 85. Not only is the sound pristine, the playing is super high octane Dead at its best. The set list is outstanding and the transitions are not sloppy.... transitions are what make this set great....one of the things that makes the second set so great is the unexpected turns into different songs. Get this one at all costs....one of the best sets of dead music ever.
Cortez The Killer -
Sloppy transitions?....Where?? This is the show that turned me on to the Dead.The sound is so crisp and punchy on this sbd and Jerry's playing is just flawless.Sick Tom Thumbs,Wheel,Scarlet>Eyes...Hell the whole show is strong start to finish!!
Subject: what a setlist!!!
this is among the more popular shows of the year, as the setlist alone makes it enticing...
it's a pretty good show, mixed with very sloppy transitions and inspired playing....Rooster, Tom Thumb, GDTRFB, and Wheel>Truckin' are highlights...
sound is superb, Jerry's voice is frog-like, and remmeber to be patient wit those second set transitions!